What Are The Consequence of Getting A DWI In A School Zone?
Many drivers who drive through towns in Ocean County, like Lakewood, may not be aware of the numerous public and private schools in those towns. For example, Lakewood has a large number of schools with over 17,000 students in attendance. With so many students, there is a greater chance in Lakewood than in any other Ocean County town for drivers who are stopped for suspicion of DWI to be facing a charge of DWI in a school zone. At Villani & DeLuca, P.C. our attorneys have represented clients in Ocean County for over 20 years who have faced DWI in a school zone. Our team is led by Carmine R. Villani, Esq. who is a former municipal prosecutor. Mr. Villani has taught seminars on NJ DWI law and has received training in the use of the Draeger Alcotest® 7110, and the proper administration of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
“School Zone” in New Jersey
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious issue in Ocean County and N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 prohibits this behavior. Subsection (g) of this statute includes situations in which drivers who are suspected of DWI or Drug DWI are within a designated school zone, resulting in serious penalties. “School zones” for the purposes of this statute are defined and include:Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious issue in Ocean County and N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 prohibits this behavior. Subsection (g) of this statute includes situations in which drivers who are suspected of DWI or Drug DWI are within a designated school zone, resulting in serious penalties. “School zones” for the purposes of this statute are defined and include:
- “A portion of a highway which is either contiguous to territory occupied by a school building or is where school crossings are established in the vicinity of a school”
- School crossings- which are parts of the highway within the vicinity of a school that students use to cross.
- School property- that is owned or leased by an Elementary or Secondary school
- Catch all- being pulled over for DWI within 1000 feet of any of these areas.
As you can probably tell the chances of being charged with a DWI in a school zone are high. You may think that these charges come during school hours or in the presence of students but the statute also specifically states that neither are needed to be charged. So whether it’s a weekend when school is not in session or late at night when no children are around a driver can be charged with DWI in a school zone.
School Zone DWI penalties
For a first time offense a driver will be subject to: $500-$800 in fines, up to 60 days in jail, driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 1-2 years, participation between 12-48 hours in the program at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and installation of an ignition interlock device. If this is your second offense: each of these penalties increases to fines between $1000-$2000, a minimum of 96 hours in jail that can reach up to 180 days, 60 days of community service, a loss of license for 4 years, and installation of an ignition interlock device. Third offenses will carry generally the same amount in fines, however instead of community service the driver will be subjected to 180 days in jail and lose their license for 20 years.
DWI Defense Attorney
New Jersey prosecutes these cases with the utmost importance and our state has a strong interest in protecting the lives of young students. Pleading ignorance to the fact that you were in a school zone is not a defense. This is why it is important to speak with a DWI defense attorney like Carmine R. Villani, Esq.
A DWI is a harsh charge but a DWI in a school zone is much more concerning. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, call the defense attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at 732-820-1256 today for a FREE consultation.